This devotional is rather stout, like a cup of black espresso.
The Bible says there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:4). I could be wrong, but I feel like it’s a time to weep. My husband, who used to be in law enforcement, often had dealings with naked People while working. Once, he had to arrest a man with no pants on and no underwear. The man was eating a salad he stole from Kroger. This man was sitting drunkenly outside a well-known restaurant at lunchtime. Everyone going inside could see his drunken naked condition, but him! Yes, he seemed to be unaware.
Next, a few weeks later, he is called to arrest a woman who is walking down the road completely naked and talking crazy. Thankfully another officer had a sheet in his trunk. As my husband told me of the second incident, it seemed the Holy Spirit began to say to me, “That’s my people.”
“‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17 NASB).
Neither person, my husband arrested knew they were naked. They had no idea. At least Adam and Eve (Chavah) were aware of their condition and sewed some fig leaves to cover their nakedness. Something seems to have shifted in the spirit realm; it’s as if we are naked and do not realize it.
Yes, at times, we are not even aware of our condition.
I’m not screaming or yelling at anyone to repent. See, repentance is something I can’t even express to you. It’s such a personal matter; there is no way I could tell you what you need to repent of or what issues of sin you might have. No, The Holy Spirit must do that, and unless it comes from our hearts, there’s no power in it.
We put attire on, but spiritually we need eye salve. The condition is one that goes deeper. All throughout the scriptures, you can compare men and women who knew how to repent and those who did not. You can start with Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau and go from there to King Saul and David– throughout the Bible until you reach the end of the book. Yes, the Apostle John warned us. “The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat, and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him” (Revelation 16:8-9 NIV).
America, the church, the naked bride, dirty and smiling and singing her songs. Performing miracles, signs, and wonders and “winning souls.” But is there any change in her condition, or any real power that’s changing our nation? Are the youth flocking to Bible studies/ Midrash? Are the abortion clinics closing? Are the heroin addicts running to our assemblies because of our love? Are the movie theaters a place you can take your children to see a clean show? Darkness is getting darker, and we must keep getting brighter and shining our lights.
The church is not a building you go to once a week. The bride is not a woman in a gown. The thoughts that we think are not His thoughts. Our Heavenly Father is a God we should fear more, I think. Fear is a word that we should think about at times when we think of The Creator of all. Even the demons believe in God and tremble. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19 KJB).
(Jeremiah 5:22) “Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord. “Should you not tremble in my presence?”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I have reached the correct measure of fearing him. Demons tremble, shouldn’t we? In Hebrew, the word fear is not just a feeling aroused due to danger but an extreme sense of wonder that comes from recognizing an authority. When we look at a sunset, a zebra, a delicate flower, and realize it came from an awesome Creator, then we are in awe of His magnificence. We fear a God who can create such wonder for our eyes to behold, and we honor Him for giving it to us to enjoy in beauty and grace.
When we notice that creation and His Word no longer excite us, then it’s time for us to repent. One man in the Bible named Ezra repented for the whole nation.
Ezra was aware of his nation’s sins, “O my God; I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens” (Ezra 9:6 NIV).
Too ashamed to lift up the eyes.
“While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites – men, women, and children – gathered around him. They too wept bitterly” (Ezra 10:1).
Ezra and the people were genuinely repentant before the Father of Lights. They acknowledged His authority as ruler of all the earth. They also knew that they needed to get back to keeping His instructions and commandments.
The church is divided, and the preachers say, pat me on the back and tell me I’m preaching well. What happened to the fear of Yah? Ezra’s repentant heart caused men, women, and children to join him in weeping.
(Psalms 34:11) “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”
(Psalms 89:7 NASB) “A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, And awesome above all those who are around Him?”
Where’s the love?
On a cross dripping with blood. HaShem is love. “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” ( 1 John 4:8 NASB).
The truth is our nation is naked and in need of a good scrubbing.
Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? “No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush…” (Jeremiah 6:15 NIV).
Naked people should blush. The Torah is considered clothing. Let us bathe and dress in robes of Righteousness.
Artwork by Tekoa Manning